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Archive for Friday, January 13, 2012

Panetta assures Afghans of full probe into Marines video

January 13, 2012

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WASHINGTON — Pentagon leaders scrambled Thursday to contain damage from an Internet video purporting to show four Marines urinating on Taliban corpses — an act that appears to violate international laws of warfare and further strains U.S.-Afghan relations.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to offer assurances of a full investigation and the top Marine general promised an internal probe as well as a criminal one. Investigators moved quickly to identify and interview at least two of the four Marines. They were members of a battalion that fought for seven months in former Taliban strongholds in southern Afghanistan.

Their unit, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, returned from Helmand province to its home base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., last September. Marine officials said that a battalion officer confirmed to investigators on Thursday, based on his examination of the video, that the four men depicted urinating had been members of the battalion. Two have since moved on to other units.

As the video spread across the Internet in postings and re-postings, U.S. officials joined with Afghans in calling it shocking, deplorable, inhumane and a breach of military standards of conduct. It shows men in Marine combat gear standing in a semicircle urinating on the bodies of three men in standard Afghan clothing, one whose chest was covered in blood.

It’s not certain whether the dead were Taliban fighters, civilians or someone else.

The incident will likely further hurt ties with Karzai’s government and complicate negotiations over a strategic partnership arrangement meant to govern the presence of U.S. troops and advisers in Afghanistan after most international combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

It also comes at a delicate time in relations among the United States, Afghanistan’s elected government and the Taliban insurgency fighting for both territorial control and cultural and religious preeminence in Afghanistan. The U.S. is trying to foster peace talks between the Karzai government and the Pakistan-based Taliban high command, and has made unprecedented offers to build trust with the insurgents, including the planned opening of a Taliban political office to oversee talks.

Anti-American sentiment is already on the rise in Afghanistan, especially among Afghans who have not seen improvements to their daily lives despite billions of dollars in international aid. They also have deplored the accidental killing of civilians during NATO airstrikes and argue that foreign troops have culturally offended the Afghan people, mostly when it comes to activities involving women and the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

Pentagon officials said the criminal investigation would likely look into whether the Marines violated laws of war, which include prohibitions against photographing or mishandling bodies and detainees. It also appeared to violate the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice, which governs conduct. Thus, some or all of the four Marines could face a military court-martial or other disciplinary action.

Karzai called the video “completely inhumane.” The Afghan Defense Ministry called it “shocking.” And the Taliban issued a statement accusing U.S. forces of committing numerous “indignities” against the Afghan people.

Comments

FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 8 months ago

Obama's "Abu Ghraib" moment in Afghanistan is impressive torture. Barack is lucky that the press is on his side and will minimally cover the story unlike the filet job they did on Bush.

But, At least Obama's people tortured the dead.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

Obama certainly deserves a good deal of criticism for his adoption of Bush's wars, but there is no indication that there is anything like the torture regimes instituted as a matter of policy by BushCo at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere. And Obama most certainly hasn't made it policy to piss on corpses.

But I understand that trolling is your goal, not accuracy.

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Shane Garrett 2 years, 8 months ago

I would like to compare the actions of a few marines pissing on some dead terrorist to the actions of a few terrorist whom cut the head off a live American reporter. After thinking about that , the marines should get their hands slapped and told to keep their wankers contained. Now go kill some more road side bomb cowards.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

There is absolutely no connection between the actions of these marines and those of the murderers of the American reporter. It's pointless to try to make one.

And while the stresses of being in a war zone can to some extent excuse extreme behavior by those who are placed in it, keep in mind that those corpses were most likely born and raised right there in Afghanistan. While you see them as terrorists, they most likely saw themselves as freedom fighters fighting to kick the invading infidels out of their country. Pissing on their corpses is very unlikely to win the hearts and minds of their neighbors and countrymen.

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Shane Garrett 2 years, 8 months ago

I completely understand and except your point bozo. I for one never wanted the US involved in a country that has never been changed. And most likely never will, now that the US is involved in talks with the Taliban. I guess I should have never viewed the freedom fighters massacre of soviet soldiers in Chechnya. I had to stop it after a few short moments in order to save my own soul. And as far as trying to win hearts and minds, how did that work out in Vietnam? Or is this war different? The US created the problem of freedom fighters during the Russian occupation and now killing them is going to correct past mistakes? I think, as our leaders now believe, the whole war is a mistake. We got the Saudi Arab terrorist leader, now lets go home.

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Getaroom 2 years, 8 months ago

Remember that FHNC has only one agenda - besides showing his racist tendencies.
FOX NEWS is his model for fair and balanced views so go figure the rest.

One thing accomplished by these honorable jar heads who relieved themselves on the bodies of the dead, is give credence to the phrase "Ugly Americans". Ya, sure they did in the heat of battle! They did it for fun and to insult, it was not a mistake in judgement. If more such videos made it out to the general public perhaps this War of Insanity would have ended sooner.

This incident is no worse than the purpose for being and staying there. Bigger mucky-ups than these Sempre Fi Marines have been pulling the strings, starting with The Shrub and his band of Brothers in Armaments. So, is it the job of the bullies taking on the role of World Wide Police, those who started the fight - to end it as well? Or do we need more inconvenient videos to keep surfacing? Looks like sometimes a video record of a war trophy taken(pissed on) - is no a prize at all.
Ah! The spoils of war indeed.
Doesn't this story make your American Flag lapel pin want to burst from your chest filled with pride? May these Christian Crusades end sooner than later and before a new flag and battle motto are created: "Do it for the Red, White, Blue and Yellow"

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 8 months ago

I love it Pheonix! I am outraged at those who feign some sort of aversion to this. First off, those bloody dead jerks were trying to kill those same Marines. Those terrorists HAVE sent videos af them cutting off the heads of THEIR enemies! I would like to know who was stupid enough to video this act.

I support the Marines. Huaaah. As long as those desert rats keep trying to kill both their own people and ours figthting there, nothing is off limits to them. Hillary Clinton and all the other government wonks who are fubbing their hands in grief can take a long walk off a short pier. These murderers and terrorists deserve no respect whatsoever.

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hipper_than_hip 2 years, 8 months ago

Time to grow up about war America.

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patkindle 2 years, 8 months ago

we need to be alot nicer to the people who are trying to kill us i like allen wests comments

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